Interview: Toronto Dancehall Prince Lexxicon Turns Up the Heat With Island Flair

by Jessica Brant


Jamaican-Canadian Dancehall singer and dancer Lexxicon is on a winning streak with his newest visual boasting the island flavor, “Doing to Me.” The tropical jam is quickly becoming an end-of-summer anthem as we transition into autumn, turning up the heat on an ordinarily cooler season. With stunning colors, moody lighting, and Toronto street art as the video’s backdrop, Lexxicon and guest feature Alliston Davis jog across dark alleys and shapeshift into authentic Dancehall movements, capturing the city’s serene nightlife and painting a dreamscape for the listener.


The “Paradise” singer exhibits a hint of mystery in every hook and lyric and has preserved a beautiful, enigmatic spirit throughout his career. Yet fans of the movement still want to know, who is Lexxicon? I have a few of those answers here. I chatted virtually with the singer about Dancehall’s popularity in mainstream culture, his personal fashion sense, and his creative choices. He also recommended a long list of Afrobeat and Dancehall luminaries for those interested in a refresher. 


Jessica: Your name is amazing. Can you tell me the story behind it?


Lexxicon: Thank you so much. I chose the name during my time in university studying criminology. I had to write a research paper and look up articles for my thesis. While looking up different articles, I came across one that had the word lexicon and I had never heard that word before. I really liked the sound of it, so I looked up the meaning, felt connected to it, and added an extra “x” for distinction. Now I am known as Lexxicon!


Jessica: What can you tell me about your background and when did you move to Toronto?


Lexxicon: My entire family is Jamaican and we moved to Birmingham, England when I was younger before moving to New York, and then Toronto in 2009. Those are all hubs for Jamaicans and it’s amazing because the culture is so strong that it’s been influencing the mainstream from sports to music. There is also nothing like Jamaican food and I’m in love with it.


Jessica: Your musical style is primarily Dancehall/R&B. What is the Toronto dancehall scene like?


Lexxicon: Yes, I am heavily influenced by Dancehall. I love artists like Spice, Konshens, Vybz Kartel, Shenseea, Mr. Vegas, and Charley Black. The Toronto Dancehall scene is really growing right now with lots of talent coming out like myself, Tee Polo, Don Richie, Rudeeboss, and Chizzy Bashment just to name a few. I think the city is becoming more open to different sounds in urban music and it’s beautiful.


Jessica: I love your style and the settings of your music videos! You’re usually performing in these very beachy, tropical, urban street environments. What inspires the locations?


Lexxicon: Yes I love picking out an outfit just before a shoot, figuring the look I want to go for is very exciting and is just my personal style. The locations for my shoots are inspired by the vibe in the city of Toronto. It’s so diverse and beautiful and I feel it gets the feeling of the song across as well.   


Jessica: Who or what inspires your personal fashion style?


Lexxicon: I think just looking up to Rihanna’s entire career and how she has grown and changed her style and just does what she feels like, along with how ASAP Rocky has aligned himself with the fashion world. Overall, I like fun and bold outfits that feel unique to me.


Jessica: Let’s talk about your latest single, “Doing to Me.” It’s definitely a mood! What was recording the single like for you creatively?


Lexxicon: This video was directed by myself and the featured artist Alliston Davis, we had the idea of focusing on the energy of the song and really wanted to showcase confidence in being loved, enjoying love, and feeling free. Alliston and I wrote the song together and it was only fitting that we did the video together which we planned in two days over the phone and WhatsApp. We had so much fun going around the city to find the perfect spots and envisioning the shots we wanted. Working with the videographer Prince is always amazing. He always understands my vision and the editing is always on point. Overall, the song is about being confident about knowing what you want.


Jessica: I want to pick your brain about Afrobeat/Dancehall popularity in American music. So many mainstream artists are using this style, from Beyonce to Childish Gambino. Especially now, people are really showing out in terms of pride for their West African/African roots. Dancehall, too: Beyonce just released a single from “Black is King” with Shatta Wale. Do you think this new movement in pop culture is taking the dancing and music to new heights?


Lexxicon: Yes I definitely think the major artists like Beyonce and Childish Gambino embrace Afrobeat and Dancehall is a good thing for everything. The more it’s accepted and celebrated in the American music market, the more profitable opportunity it will create for artists in this career. As more major artists come on the wave, it will further push the sound and leave a ripple effect that will help everyone. Even recently, we have seen more Dancehall/Reggae artists signed to major labels and being supported by them like Shenseea, Hoodcelebrityy, and Koffee. The Success of these artists only increases the success of those who will come after them with a similar sound. I can’t wait to see Dancehall and Afrobeat at the top of the charts in America, because it’s going to happen.


Jessica: Who are you listening to on your playlists right now? What artists are you currently digging?


Lexxicon: I love listening to new music that’s coming out right now. On my playlists, you will find Alicai Harley, Stefflon Don, Geko, B Young, WSTRN, Young T & Bugsey, Sevana, Partynextdoor, Victoria Monet, Flo Milli, Tinashe, Mulatto, Shenseea, Sean Paul, Dua Lipa, Sech, J Balvin, and Ozuna


Jessica: From someone who wants a crash course on the Dancehall movement, what top artists do you recommend they listen to first?


Lexxicon: I would tell them to listen to Vybz Kartel, Lady Saw, Elephant Man, Sean Paul, and Beenie Man. Vybz Kartel is just essential because he’s like the Drake of Dancehall, he’s everywhere and he’s super talented and you will get many styles from him. Lady Saw I would say is like the Nicki Minaj of Dancehall as she was the one on top for a long stretch and really pushed the genre more internationally especially for female dancehall artists. Beenie Man and Elephant Man also because they both just have so many hits you can’t really talk about Dancehall without them, especially when it comes to popular Jamaican dances. Last but not least, Sean Paul because he took Dancehall to an international level, and even into newer directions by fusing EDM sounds. All those artists would give you a good base.


Jessica: Do you have an album in the works? 


Lexxicon: I am currently working on my 2021 album that will be about 11-13 tracks and have a bit more of the UK swagger to it. I feel like it’s going to be some of my best work and I really like the songs I’m making for it right now. I already have the title and cover and the entire theme in mind. I can’t wait to share it when it’s ready!


Watch Lexxicon’s video for “Doing to Me” below:



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